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Sikh Woman Defends Facial Hair After Photo Goes Viral


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#241 debluvscanucks

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

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I don't believe in censorshop, but the "I can't believe some people" comments are leading us back down the same path. We're discussing this woman's address to her bullies, NOT the people reacting to it.

Trying to let this one have another shot, but reports are coming in....
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#242 Sharpshooter

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:29 PM

I think Balpreet should be counselled on how to be more balanced in life. A Psychologist might able to help but it may take years of therapy because she has adopted very extremist values. The Sikh religion does not tell it's followers to limit themselves to being beautiful only on the inside.

Sikhism preaches common sense. This young lady needs to re think what her religion really calls for and some of the real reasons for keeping unshorn hair. She is clearly misled and misinformed. She is an extremist in the true sense of the word.


Adherence to any religious prescription would require counseling then.

There are plenty of secular lessons of strength that I think can be taken from Sikhism and other religions as well. I don't think that she is an extremist per se, but that perhaps her adherence to certain man-made religious prescriptions are. She seems very even tempered and reasonable otherwise. I understand that you may be using 'extremist' is another sense however and in perhaps in another sense of the phrase 'religious extremist' i could see your point, since I contend it as well.

I don't discount that her religion is a source of strength and confidence though as i'm certain that it is. I don't have to believe in the supernatural aspects of it however, in order to appreciate the morals and values inherent in some of its literature and interpretations. I say 'some' because I don't think Sikhism is morality personified, nor do I think it or any religion has any more morally teachable values that aren't present to learn in a secular setting.
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#243 CIA

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

I was raised a Sikh but don't really practice the religion. While uncut hair is one of the requirements of Sikhism, it's only followed by the very few baptized Sikhs especially in North America. I think it's great Balpreet is following the religion 100% by the book but at the same time, I sense there is something wrong with this. Maybe it's because she is just so comfortable with herself at a level I could never be or understand.

She says the physical appearance is not a concern to her because she wants to focus on being a better person and all that, but I think she could do both. There's nothing wrong with spending time on your physical appearance, making yourself look good...although Sikhism frowns upon changing your appearance (makeup, piercing, tattoos, haircuts, jewelry, expensive clothes). So it's hard to say how much religion has an impact on her thinking and how much of it is her own thoughts. Personally, I think we shouldn't follow what someone wrote in a book and make our own conclusions. Just my 2 cents.

But good on her for writing such an eloquent response to a douchebag.
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#244 WHL rocks

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:54 PM

Balpreet has chosen her appearance due to religious reasons. She is interpreting her religion as such that she should leave her body exactly as the divine being gave it to her. She claims the body given to her by the divine being is sacred gift, but then goes on to say why fuss about it, it's going to turn to ash any ways.

She claims the time saved by not worrying about her outer beauty gives her more time to work on her inner beauty. If she took an hour out of each month to work on her outer beauty she would lead a much more balanced life. About 12 one hour laser treatments should make her beard go away. That still gives her plenty of time to work on her inner beauty. This would show signs of a balanced person. This would also be someone who follows Sikhism the way it was founded to be followed. Its like someone who spends several hours per day playing video games. Perhaps this person should spend an hour or two per day on physical activity. Like going for a walk. This would give them balance in their life.

Her beard may not affect others but the reason she gives to keep her beard does. Particularly 99+% of Sikh women who would not agree with her interpretation and representation of their religion. I know many baptized Sikhs. I have been to Punjab where 25 million Sikhs live. Only the fundamentalist extremist Sikh women wear turbans and there are very few of them. It's quite uncommon to see turbaned Sikh women in India.

She is an extremist who has formed a warped understanding of her religion.
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#245 WHL rocks

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

I was raised a Sikh but don't really practice the religion. While uncut hair is one of the requirements of Sikhism, it's only followed by the very few baptized Sikhs especially in North America. I think it's great Balpreet is following the religion 100% by the book but at the same time, I sense there is something wrong with this. Maybe it's because she is just so comfortable with herself at a level I could never be or understand.

She says the physical appearance is not a concern to her because she wants to focus on being a better person and all that, but I think she could do both. There's nothing wrong with spending time on your physical appearance, making yourself look good...although Sikhism frowns upon changing your appearance (makeup, piercing, tattoos, haircuts, jewelry, expensive clothes). So it's hard to say how much religion has an impact on her thinking and how much of it is her own thoughts. Personally, I think we shouldn't follow what someone wrote in a book and make our own conclusions. Just my 2 cents.

But good on her for writing such an eloquent response to a douchebag.


I agree with much of what you said but the part where "Sikhism frowns about changing physical appearance". On the contrary the very reason for keeping inshorn hair was to change a Sikh's appearance so he sticks out. So he is noticeable while standing in a group of people.

Sikhism does not frown upon wearing makeup or nice/expensive clothes. If you see a picture of Gobind Singh you will see how he dresses like a King.
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#246 GLASSJAW

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

I think it's great Balpreet is following the religion 100% by the book but at the same time, I sense there is something wrong with this. Maybe it's because she is just so comfortable with herself at a level I could never be or understand.


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#247 WHL rocks

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

Adherence to any religious prescription would require counseling then.

There are plenty of secular lessons of strength that I think can be taken from Sikhism and other religions as well. I don't think that she is an extremist per se, but that perhaps her adherence to certain man-made religious prescriptions are. She seems very even tempered and reasonable otherwise. I understand that you may be using 'extremist' is another sense however and in perhaps in another sense of the phrase 'religious extremist' i could see your point, since I contend it as well.

I don't discount that her religion is a source of strength and confidence though as i'm certain that it is. I don't have to believe in the supernatural aspects of it however, in order to appreciate the morals and values inherent in some of its literature and interpretations. I say 'some' because I don't think Sikhism is morality personified, nor do I think it or any religion has any more morally teachable values that aren't present to learn in a secular setting.


Even in Saudi Arabia the gov't is providing counselling to reform Jihadists, because they are extreme in the way they interpret their religion. All followers of religion do not require counselling. Most use common sense and religion guides them in a positive manner.

Now of course Balpreet is not a violent extremist but she is a religious extremist nonetheless. There is no doubt about this.
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#248 CIA

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

I agree with much of what you said but the part where "Sikhism frowns about changing physical appearance". On the contrary the very reason for keeping inshorn hair was to change a Sikh's appearance so he sticks out. So he is noticeable while standing in a group of people.

Sikhism does not frown upon wearing makeup or nice/expensive clothes. If you see a picture of Gobind Singh you will see how he dresses like a King.


I think you explained my thoughts on this whole thing in post 244. :)

I may be wrong, but I always thought Sikhism preached simplicity which i relate to no makeup or expensive clothes. People are supposed to wear simple clothes when they go to the gurdwaras. Guru Nanak always wore simple clothes but I guess some of the later Gurus did wear royal looking dresses. I guess it has to do with spending time working on your inner self and not the outward appearance. You can still stand out without makeup and expensive clothes (in fact more so nowadays).

I'll have to look more into it. I was mostly going by what I have seen, not what it says in the religious text since I haven't actually studied it myself.
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#249 WHL rocks

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

I think you explained my thoughts on this whole thing in post 244. :)

I may be wrong, but I always thought Sikhism preached simplicity which i relate to no makeup or expensive clothes. People are supposed to wear simple clothes when they go to the gurdwaras. Guru Nanak always wore simple clothes but I guess some of the later Gurus did wear royal looking dresses. I guess it has to do with spending time working on your inner self and not the outward appearance. You can still stand out without makeup and expensive clothes (in fact more so nowadays).

I'll have to look more into it. I was mostly going by what I have seen, not what it says in the religious text since I haven't actually studied it myself.


Ya, we see the situation in pretty much the same way.


Prior to today I made one post on this thread, post #17.

In that post I said "I bet Balpreet cuts her fingernails". I wonder how she would justify cutting her nails. Removing something from her body that the "divine being" gave to her as part of a "sacred gift".

If she cuts her fingernails does this make her a hypocrite?

It's difficult to know what Nanak really wore as there is little historical data regarding his dress. He was a saint so he's usually shown to dress in a simple loose fitting clothing in yellow brownish color, something similar to what Hindu and Muslim holy men wore at the time. We don't even know what his face looked like.

As far as dressing down to go to Gurdwara goes I am unfamiliar with this practice. Most people dress up to go there. For instance when going to Akhand Path (prayer service) one sees ladies put on nice clothes, gold jewelry and lots of makeup, some might say too much makeup. lol. Most men wear dress pants and a dress shirt.

This goes the same here and in India. When visiting a place like the Golden Temple every one dresses up to go there.

Edit: The only place it's frowned upon to wear too much makeup or bright colors to is a funeral or a religious service for a younger person's death. To a funeral or Gurdwara service for the deceased it's customary to wear simple white colored clothing. I believe this has more to do with culture than religion.

Edited by WHL rocks, 30 September 2012 - 04:29 PM.

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